Secure environments represent significant challenges for building knowledge capacity. For example, experience, know-how, and intelligence can be problematic to identify and integrate across intentionally segregated intelligence units.

Based on my experience teaching and developing knowledge capacity in a wide variety of organizations, including some which include secure environments, I have developed four strategies, each of which operate effectively in tightly structured command-and-control environments, and which can be used in various combinations for targeted effects:

1. Tidal Gates

These are business processes that behave like tidal gates, enabling knowledge to flow between silos as emergent issues escalate in priority.

2. Cross-weave Value

A pre-selected intelligence “fabric” is generated by identifying and pursuing value both vertically (up and down the chain-of-command) and horizontally (peer-to-peer). The vertical may be multiple parallel efforts, while the horizontal loosely bunches the vertical to bind, linking discrete efforts.

3. Holistic Aggregation

By collectively representing divergent views, as on the floor of the NASDAQ where hundreds of independent indicators are displayed simultaneously side-by-side, it is often possible to identify crosscutting patterns.

4. Hot-topic cross-silo SWAT teams

These are teams of specialty professionals who train together using specific tools (weapons) and processes (tactics) to address unpredictable scenarios by breaking them down into reliable components and building expertise in hot-topic, cross-silo domains.

Secure Mechanisms